Our world is fast-paced and unpredictable. I mean, who would’ve guessed that the digital revolution was going to have such a profound effect on the entertainment industry and remove the need for physical products?
As expected, the digital wave had its impact on the book industry and sparked a new creation: the eBook. Understandably, many bookworms are reluctant to accept eBooks as the ‘real thing’. The common argument is that the reading experience is as much about reading as it is flipping through the pages, the scent of the book and the enticing prospect of building a library at home. It is a valid point – even the book purchasing experience is a phenomenon that cannot be replicated.
Nonetheless, to completely dismiss the value of eBooks is myopic. Instead of viewing it as a replacement for a physical copy, perhaps we should view it as another option, in the same way that vinyl lovers still download MP3s, too.
Let’s imagine a scenario that we’ve all experienced at some point:
A friend recommends a rare book. We head off to our nearest bookstore and ask if a copy is available. The bookseller says it isn’t stock, but it can be ordered for an imported cost and will take 4-6 weeks to arrive. Suddenly, you aren’t so sure if you want the book anymore…
If you’d purchased the eBook from an online store, you could’ve had the book immediately and for a lower price, too. But what about the reading device you may ask? Don’t you need an eReader for eBooks? Yes, you do, but the good news is that your tablet or smartphone is already designed to be an eReader. All you have to do is download the relevant app and transfer/sync the eBook to it. It’s easy and intuitive, and will already have a nice built-in nightlight for bedtime reading.
So, with so many of us spending hours playing Candy Crush and Angry Birds on our phones and tablets, isn’t it about time that we also use our devices to read books as well? In the case of eBooks and physical books, you can have your cake and eat it, too.